Morning News Update for Tuesday, 7/15/14.


Pierce Brosnan, Spike TV Developing Crusades Event Series
David Franzoni
and Michael Finch will pen “The Crusaders.” Spike’s event series takes place during the Third Crusade, after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin‘s armies. It centers on two different knights who journey from Scotland to the Holy Land for very different reasons.

‘Boondocks’ Creator Inks Overall Deal With Adult Swim, Sets New Show
Aaron McGruder will create a new live-action pilot, “Hooligan Squad,” as his first project under the new pact.

(ratings) FX’s ‘The Strain’ Debuts Strong With Nearly 3M Viewers
FX’s new series pulled in an audience of 2.99 million Sunday night for its 1-hour and 42-minute debut at 10PM. That’s 42% better that the cabler’s most recent other drama debut Tyrant did on its June 24th premiere.

(review) Variety: ‘The Divide’
“The Divide” appears to harbor aspirations to be more than just another cop/crime show, but its two-hour premiere stumbles along the way. Created by Richard LaGravenese and actor/director Tony Goldwyn, the show seeks to delve into race through the prism of long-solved but controversial murders. Yet there’s a corner-cutting quality to the series — beginning with the casting — that makes this feel like a decidedly off-Broadway effort.

(reviews) Variety: FX’s ‘Married,’ ‘You’re the Worst’
is a familiar idea presented in a cheerfully amusing way — namely, the quiet scream of a middle-aged guy with kids, grappling with the realization that hot sex is disappearing into the rearview mirror, and his wife mostly just tolerates him. Its FX companion, “You’re the Worst,” is equally recognizable: a dysfunctional love story between two awful, self-absorbed people, who just might be perfect for each other. If there’s nothing new here, both are still mildly enjoyable. Call them the comedy equivalent of bunt singles.


THR: Fourth and Long: ABC Arrives at TCA With Work to Do, Faith to Restore
The fourth-place network is also the poster network for canceling shows and thus illustrates the challenge broadcast TV has in retaining viewers in the new world order.


(video) Watch the Entire Season of ‘The Hotwives of Orlando’ Starring Kristen Schaal, Casey Wilson, and More
finally premiered their new Paul Scheer-produced reality show spoof The Hotwives of Orlando today, which stars Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Kristen Schaal, Tymberlee Hill, Andrea Savage, and Danielle Schneider as a group of vapid yet fabulous Real Housewives-style Florida women.


Shaftesbury finds teen trilogy Wondrous Strange
Canada’s Shaftesbury has acquired TV adaptation rights to the Wondrous Strange young adult fiction franchise. The book series from Toronto’s Lesley Livingston follows the adventures of a young woman that discovers she is the heir to a Faerie realm, and Shaftesbury believes the lead character will land it a greenlit order from a network.


Thor Is Now a Woman: Marvel Announces Goddess of Thunder
just announced that in its new comic book run coming in October, Thor as we know him becomes unworthy of Mjolnir, so the hammer — and the title of “Thor” — will pass on to a woman.


Style President Salaam Coleman-Smith Joining ABC Family
Style Network veteran Salaam Coleman-Smith is joining ABC Family as executive vice president of strategy and programming.


Facebook to track users’ TV habitsStarting this fall, Facebook will track users who watch TV via their cellphone or tablet.

TV binge-watchers are more receptive of ads, study findsBinging viewers are apparently more tolerant of advertising — as long as it lowers their subscription rate.

Is J.K. Rowling the new George Lucas?
A new “Harry Potter” story, like the Pottermore fansite before it, raises the question: How much is too much?

What’s So Funny?
Theories of laughter are typically divided into three main strands. The so-called superiority theory argues that laughter is a form of derision or mockery. The second theory, known as the incongruity theory, sees laughter as a response to the illogical or the unexpected. The last of the trio is the relief theory; this theory sees laughter as the physical sign of the release of nervous energy or repressed emotion.